Founded in 1959 and based in the UK, the Cinderella Stamp Club is an association of philatelists, amateur and professional, whose interests lie in local stamps, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, revenues, fiscals, forgeries, bogus and phantom issues, Christmas, Red Cross, TB and other charity seals, registration labels, advertisement and exhibition labels and many other items — all of which are the so-called “Cinderellas of Philately”.
The club can be found here:
The members of The Cinderella Stamp Club, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Club, were asked to produce a display for the Royal Philatelic Society London. The guide to the display illustrates the wide range of material available to the Cinderella collector. The guide can be found here:
What is Cinderella?
The masthead of the Club’s quarterly magazine, The Cinderella Philatelist, lists: “Local stamps, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, revenues/fiscals, forgeries, bogus and phantom issues. Christmas, Red Cross, TB and other charity seals, registration labels, advertisement and exhibition labels and many other items…..”. The phrase “many other items” conceals a multitude of minor stamp-like categories. Among the more curious which have found their way into the pages of The Cinderella Philatelist are copyright royalty stamps found on old gramophone records, glove and mitten duty stamps, and chemical reagent bottle deposit labels. Articles have been published on pseudo-postal stationery, telegram forms, war-time street-appeal lapel tags and envelope economy labels.
There are, however, limits beyond which the definition of a cinderella ought not to be stretched and it is perhaps unlikely that things such as trade, cigarette and telephone cards (unless the image of a stamp is incorporated in the design), matchbox or cheese labels, aerial propaganda leaflets, and other forms of ephemera like notgeld or scrip, will ever fully qualify.
About the Club
The Cinderella Stamp Club was founded over 40 years ago in London, England, by a small group of philatelists whose collecting interests had diverged from the mainstream of philately into the fringe world of local stamps, revenues, bogus and phantom issues, exhibition labels, Christmas seals and so on – in fact, anything that looked like a stamp but was not a government-issued postage stamp. The formation of the Club aroused wide interest all over the world. People who had been ploughing a lone furrow in what appeared to be a neglected field now discovered that there were many others with similar tastes, and in its first year 86 members were enrolled. In 2002, the Cinderella Stamp Club has roughly 600 members and it retains its world-wide appeal — over one third of its members live outside the UK.
The whole field of cinderellas offers many opportunities for the collector. The major stamp catalogues do not list the majority of cinderella issues and those that do usually confine them to the “back of the book”. There is no “cinderella catalogue” covering all aspects, but there are an ever increasing number of specialist catalogues available, many of which have been compiled and published by Cinderella Stamp Club members. Even so there are still many areas where individual study and research is required and the Club’s study groups provide a forum for the coordination and publication of members’ findings.
Not all Club members collect all Cinderellas but it is possible to identify three main types of collectors: those who collect a specific type of cinderella, revenues or poster stamps for instance; then there are those whose interests lie in all cinderellas from a specific country or area; finally, there are the topical or thematic collectors who find that vast untapped resources exist among the cinderellas. Needless to say, there are many more collectors who do not fit into these categories and whose interests are manifold and eclectic.
Among the services members enjoy are:
- The Cinderella Philatelist, the Club’s quarterly journal, is in A4 format and usually runs to 48-60 pages. The Club can draw on a talented international team of writers and recent editions have included the work of authors from Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Romania. Russia, South African and the USA as well as the UK. Each issue contains a free gift of a cinderella item. Members may advertise in the journal’s “Wants and Offers” section. The journal is free to Club members.
- Study Groups. The Club operates four study groups: British Private Posts, World War 1, World War 2 and Telegraph & Telephone. Each group publishes a quarterly newsletter which is incorporated into The Cinderella Philatelist.
- Exchange Packet. The packet is an excellent method of acquiring and disposing of cinderella material. The Club operates four different packet circuits for members in the UK.
- Auctions. The Club runs two auctions each year. The Spring Auction, usually held in April, is postal only. The Autumn Auction, in October, is live and postal. There are usually 12-1400 lots in each auction.
- Library. The Club maintains an extensive library of cinderella literature which may be borrowed by UK members.
- Meetings. Four or five whole-day meetings are held annually, usually in London. A dealers’ bourse is normally run in conjunction with each meeting.
- Affiliations. The Club is affiliated to the Association of British Philatelic Societies and UK members are entitled to the benefits offered by the ABPS. The Club is also affiliated to the American Philatelic Society.